Cameroon


Figure 1.--This photograph shows a young Cameroonian mother with three children during the 1930s. We don't know where exactly the photo was taken, but probably in the north. In Cameroon there are many different ethnic groups. Among some northern tribes, not only was Western clothing was still almost unknown, but among some tribes the people wore very little if any clothing. In the south it was common to see children unclothed, but in the north, many adults also went without any clothing.

Cameroon is an Equartorial African country which can be included in both West and Central Africa. It is located along the Altantic-coast Bight of Biafra between Nigeria and Gabon. It extends north to Lake Chad and east to the Central African Republic. Cameroon was in part a German colony seized by the British and French during World War I. The modern country is a fusion of the Briish and French colonies and thus has both Anglophone and Francophone traditions fused with the many ethnic communities. We do not yet have a Cameroon page, but do have a Cameroon history page. The country is still largely agriculturral, although fishing is of some importance. The modern country is notable for the ethnic diversity of its population. Various accounts identify 150-250 ethnic groups. The difference in the estimates probably stems from the fact that many of these groups are related. Christianity and Islam are the country's two dominant religions. Christian churches and Muslim mosques can be found throughout the country and there is a gradition of religious tolerance. About 70 percent of the population is to some degree Christian and 20 percent Muslim. Traditional religions are still practived. There is a north/south religious divide between Christians and Muslims, the general pattern in West Africa. Protetants dominate the east toward Nigeria and Catholics the west toward Gabon. Although Europeans reached the area very early (late-15th century), missionary work did not begin until much later (mid-19th century). Christian missionaries played an important role in ending the slave trade and in founding the country's education system. Most of the early rulers at independence wwre taught in mission schools. At the time of independence, Cameroon had one of the largest school systems in Africa. We also have a Scouting page.

Geography

Cameroon is an Equartorial African country which can be included in both West and Central Africa. It is located along the Altantic-coast Bight of Biafra between Nigeria and Gabon. It extends north to Lake Chad and east to the Central African Republic.

History

Cameroon is a political entity created by the colonial powers (England, France, and Germany) with no regard for tribal/ethnic boundaries or topographic features. European contact with Cameroon began when Portuguese explorers sailed up the Wouri River (1472). They named the river the Rio dos Camarőes (River of Prawns). At about the same time, Fulani pastoral nomads began moving from from what is now Nigeria began to migrate in Cameroon (anout 1500). This forced the indigenous forest peoples southwards. The Fulani migration accelerated slave traders supplying Dutch, Portuguese and British slavers (early-17th century). Germany signed a treaty with the chiefdoms of Douala and central Bamiléké Plateau (1884). This essentially blocked expanding Britih influence. The British occupied Cameroon during World War I. After World War I, as part of the Versailles Peace Treaty (1919), the German protectorate of Kamerun was parfitioned between France and Britain. The modern country is a fusion of the Briish and French colonies and thus has both Anglophone and Francophone traditions fused with the many ethnic communities. Revolts against French control were supressed by French authorities (1950s). By this time, the independence movement throughout Africa was too strong for France and the other European powers to resist. The French granted self-government (1958) and then independence (1960). The boundaries of Cameroon changed during the colonial period and did not assume the modern configuration until independence (1961). As a result of the boundary and territorial shifts, Camerron achieved independence as a mixed Anglophone, Francophone nation. This dichotomy has affected post-indepemdence development.

Economy

The country is still largely agriculturral, although fishing is of some importance.

Ethnicity

The modern country is notable for the ethnic diversity of its population. Various accounts identify 150-250 ethnic groups. The difference in the estimates probably stems from the fact that many of these groups are related. There are Bantu, emi-Batu, and Sudanese tribes. The Bantus group includes the Beti, Bassa, Bakundu, Maka, Douala, and Pygmies. The Semi-Bantus tribes are the Bamileke, Bamoun, Gbaya, Tikar, and others. The Sudanese group includs the Fulani (Fulbe or Fula), Mafa, Toupouri, Shoa-Arabs, Moundang, Massa, Mousgoum, and others. The largest tribes are the Bamileke, Fulani, Tikar and Pygmy (Pygmies) tribe of Baka.

Religion

Christianity and Islam are the country's two dominant religions. Christian churches and Muslim mosques can be found throughout the country and there is a tradition of religious tolerance. About 70 percent of the population is to some degree Christian and 20 percent Muslim. Traditional religions are still practived. There is a north/south religious divide between Christians and Muslims, the general pattern in West Africa. Protetants dominate the east toward Nigeria and Catholics the west toward Gabon. Although Europeans reached the area very early (late-15th century), missionary work did not begin until much later (mid-19th century). Christian missionaries played an important role in ending the slave trade and in founding the country's education system.

Schools

Most of the early rulers at independence were taught in mission schools. At the time of independence, Cameroon had one of the largest school systems in Africa.

Youth Group

We also have a Scouting page.







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Created: 1:38 AM 3/7/2013
Last updated: 2:49 AM 1/14/2019